I have a female friend (we don't work at the same company). She's young (25?) and extremely attractive. She confided in me the other day that her boss is a creepy old man (say, 50ish) and has been increasingly inappropriate with her.
Some of the examples:
- he requested that she be transferred to his dept so she has to report to him (at the time, she took it as a compliment for her work)
- he walks up behind her and gives her shoulder rubs
- he twirls her hair and rubs her head and tells her how hot she is when he comes to talk to her at her desk
- he got her personal phone # and texts her after work hours
- he told her that she's lost weight, and that she's definitely ready for bikini season
- all sorts of other inappropriate comments about her body, her looks, sexual activity, having an affair, etc, etc, etc.
She said she doesn't want to go to HR because he's very high up in the org, and without any hard evidence (nothing happens in front of anyone else), she fears it will just be his word against hers and since he's been at the company so long and has such a stellar rep, that he'll just say he was being nice to her and she misinterpreted it. She figures if that happens, he'll make her work life hell, and at the moment it's pretty flexible --- own hours, lots of OT, work from home, etc. She needs the job and doesn't want to be a martyr. I told her this probably isn't the first time it's happened with this guy and that there's probably an HR file on him, but I think her fears are somewhat realistic.
I told her to record every time something happens until she decides if she wants to do anything about it (or if he decides to fire her b/c she won't sleep with him). That way, she'd at least have some record. I also offered the name of an employment lawyer friend, but she doesn't see how that would do anything besides lead to a he-said she-said situation at a higher level.
She just told me she found out he's being deployed (Reserves?) at the end of April, so she's basically just planning on putting up with him for a month and then taking the next year or so to find a job. From a practical point of view, I guess that seems like a reasonable course of action.
However, I just don't think it's right. A guy like that shouldn't be able to just get away with acting like that.
Any thoughts on the best advice to provide her?